Duration of television viewing in early childhood is associated with the subsequent development of asthma.

Thorax. 2009 Mar 13 Sherriff AM, Maitra A, Ness AR, Mattocks C, Riddoch C, Reilly J, Paton J, Henderson J. University of Glasgow, United Kingdom.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether duration of television (TV) viewing in young children is associated with subsequent development of asthma. DESIGN: Prospective longitudinal cohort study.

SETTING: Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), United Kingdom.

PARTICIPANTS: Children taking part in Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) with no wheeze up to 3 (1/2) years with follow up data at 11 (1/2) years.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Asthma defined as: Doctor diagnosed asthma by 7 (1/2) years with symptoms and/or treatment in last 12 months at 11 (1/2) years. Parental report of hours of children's television viewing per day was ascertained at 39 months.

RESULTS: In children asymptomatic for wheeze to 3(1/2) years with follow up data at 11(1/2) years, asthma prevalence was 6% (185/3065). Increased TV viewing at 3 (1/2) years was associated with increased prevalence of asthma at 11 (1/2) years (p for linear trend=0.0003). Children who watched television for more than 2 hours per day were almost twice as likely to develop asthma by 11 (1/2) years than those watching <2 hours TV per day (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) (95% Confidence Interval) 1.8 (1.2 to 2.6)).

CONCLUSION: Longer duration of TV viewing in children asymptomatic for wheeze at 3(1/2) years was associated with the development of asthma in later childhood.

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